Aug 08 2012

Review: New Pearl Hotel, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Accommodation

You won't even have to top.

Practically next door to the famous Sinh Tourist on De Tham in Saigon’s backpacker district of Pham Ngu Lao, the New Pearl Hotel is a welcome midrange alternative to an area dominated by low-end, and occasionally dodgy, hotels and guesthouses. The hotel offers three types of rooms: standard, a superior and a suite. The difference … read the full post

Aug 06 2012

Saigon’s best hamburgers

Published by under Uncategorized

So good I couldn't wait to take a picture before I started eating.

Every now and again on your travels, even as you mostly chow down on the local street foods, you may begin to miss some of your favourite comfort foods. My turn-to food of choice is the hamburger and luckily a few places around Saigon make a good one. If you’re in the mood for a … read the full post

Aug 06 2012

Flooding in Hoi An in October and November

Published by under Health & safety

Town centre

Hoi An floods. From late October until mid-December, Central Vietnam is wet, very wet, and some areas of Hoi An’s old town are literally underwater. Oh, and there are typhoons as well. Welcome to high season in Hoi An. Here’s some advice your travel agent won’t give you: pack your wellies and if you have … read the full post

Aug 05 2012

Review: Cafe Duy, Hanoi

Published by under Food

Cigarettes and coffee

When I wrote about coffee in Hanoi I mentioned cafe sua chua and promised more… I was introduced to cafe sua chua at Cafe Duy Tri, an historic coffee shop located on Pho Yen Phu. Pho Yen Phu is a lively street running north off Duong Thanh Nien (the street that runs between Truc Bach … read the full post

Aug 04 2012

Saigon Central Post Office

Published by under Sightseeing & activities

Echo!

Just across the street from the Notre Dame Cathedral, and a short walk from the Reunification Palace, the Saigon Central Post Office is one of the most recognisable landmarks in HCMC. A leftover from the French occupation of the city, the Post Office is one of the better-preserved examples of the colonial period’s architecture. Finished … read the full post

Aug 02 2012

Hiring a motorbike in Hoi An

Published by under Transport

Monkey mountain, beats Clarkson's 'Deserted ribbon of perfection' hands down.

If you are a confident motorcyclist, Hoi An is the perfect base for some astonishingly good rides and the greatest thing about it is it’s really hard to get lost. There are some fantastic routes that you can easily cover in a day, from meandering along rivers fringed with coconut palms through to the magical … read the full post

Aug 02 2012

Avoiding scams in Saigon

Published by under Health & safety

This is what a good taxi looks like.

We’ve recently done a few posts on common Vietnamese scams from Hanoi; one about avoiding general scams in Hanoi and the other about avoiding taxi scams. Saigon has many of the same problems, but here are some things to look out for that are specific to the city. The most common place to be scammed … read the full post

Jul 31 2012

Viet Pride 2012 in Hanoi

Published by under Events

Testing the flags. Photo courtesy of Ms Nguyen Thanh Tam

While not openly anti-gay, homosexual relationships and practices remain taboo in Vietnam and negative social attitudes and stigmas still exist. But now, for the first time, “Pride” comes to Hanoi in a series of events being hosted under the Viet Pride 2012 banner. Organised by Ms Nguyen Thanh Tam and volunteers from the LGBT community, … read the full post

Jul 30 2012

Review: Stella, Ho Chi Minh City

Published by under Food

The Stella Special does have anchovies.

Sitting in the middle of Saigon’s backpacker area of Pham Ngu Lao, Stella, or the New Stellar depending on which sign you’re reading, is a standout restaurant serving Italian and Vietnamese cuisine on a street where there is no shortage of competition. Like most of its neighbouring restaurants, Stella has a laidback atmosphere. Seating is … read the full post

Jul 29 2012

The Sunshine Hotel, Hoi An

Published by under Accommodation

I'm sorry I seem to have been having a bad camera day.. This is the shallow end of the Sunshine's rather large pool.

The domineering, brand spanking new Sunshine Hotel sits midway between An Bang beach and the old town; from here it’s a good 20-minute walk to either, but that’s okay because every guest gets a free bicycle to potter around Hoi An, and it’s outstanding value. As is the norm with Hoi An hotels, every room … read the full post

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